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Global Partnerships Make It a Smaller, Healthier World

Tricol Biomedical’s far-reaching hemostatic solutions benefit worldwide healthcare, impacting the approximate 40 percent of trauma-related deaths that result from bleeding and helping to control bleeding in hospitals due to surgery or other clinical procedures.

Tricol’s proprietary muco-adhesive chitosan formulation, Chito+, on its vast portfolio of medical devices, supplies distribution partners with its lifesaving products on a global scale.

Here are locations where Tricol is advancing the standard-of-care in hemostatic and wound management. As they evolve, they proudly anticipate sharing their medical technology in new markets.

For half a century, opens in a new windowSEDA SpA has provided Italian healthcare professionals with innovative medical devices that improve and save lives. As a result, they are a top-trusted, well-known distributor in Italy. Through partnership with SEDA, Tricol has significantly accelerated expansion in Europe.

With an excellent reputation across diverse specialties, SEDA is an ideal partner to represent Triocol’s diverse portfolio of procedural and trauma devices. Together, they quickly have accommodated the critical need for advanced hemostatic devices in Italy while setting a higher standard for patient care.

Spain & Portugal
For over 20 years, opens in a new windowWorld Medica has been dedicated to improving patient outcomes in Spain and Portugal. Tricol enhanced World Medica’s carefully curated portfolio of medical devices with Chito+ hemostatic solutions. Together, they uncovered and addressed critical supply needs.

Through participation in key national and international congresses, combined with strong KOL relationships, World Medica is a highly trusted medical device distributor in Europe and a perfect partner for Tricol in this region.

The Nordics
By partnering with opens in a new windowMermaid Medical Group since 2011, Tricol has improved patient outcomes across Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland.  Mermaid Medical focuses on solutions for diseases of the vascular system as well as devices used in interventional radiology. They succeed through strong, trustworthy partnerships. Tricol is one such partner. Together, they provide safe, effective solutions.

For additional distribution in the Nordics, Tricol partners with opens in a new windowAP Services A/S, a company whose mission is bleeding control. Since 2006, partnership with this distributor has allowed Tricol to further their vision of achieving zero preventable deaths from blood loss.

Perhaps most noteworthy, their impressive partnership allowed Tricol’s lifesaving hemostatic devices to quickly aid our allies in the Ukraine. Originating to help soldiers with traumatic wound injuries, Tricol has been a pioneer in battlefield and pre-hospital hemostasis. Chito+ hemostatic solutions continue to save lives for those who serve and protect.

South Africa
Johannesburg-based opens in a new windowCossni Medical helps stop the bleed in South Africa. A well-respected distributor in procedural and trauma markets, Cossni has established relationships with South Africa’s major private healthcare groups. They have a stellar reputation for providing carefully selected devices that address critical needs, making them ideal to represent Tricol’s extensive product line. Together, Tricol and Cossni continue to drive improved patient outcomes.

Since 2005, opens in a new windowWinChamp Medical Co., Ltd. has been developing and introducing medical technology throughout Taiwan. Through partnership with WinChamp, Tricol has developed a remarkable presence in Taiwan’s healthcare arena. Together, their customer base, portfolio, and lifesaving abilities keep growing.

opens in a new windowZeria is one of the largest pharmaceutical/medical device companies in Japan. Tricol’s partnership with them began in 2010 and has led to a strong presence of Chito+ devices in Japan. Together, they continuously benefit patients throughout the country.

Empowering the World with Chito+
Hemorrhage is the most common cause of preventable death in trauma situations and anemia is a critical complication for ICU patients. Through exemplary distributor partnerships, Tricol’s reach across sites of care is expansive and saves lives around the globe.

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Fully Stocked so “The Blood Stops Here”—for Patients and Practitioners

In 2022, Tricol Biomedical completed its strongest production year. This is remarkable considering supply chain issues and the lingering pandemic, which continue to cause worldwide disruption. Supply chain leaders in healthcare are using lessons learned during these unprecedented times to ensure a more stable future. Many of their initiatives align with Tricol’s ongoing best practices.

A Collaborative Effort

According to Brian Clare, Ph.D., Tricol’s Vice President of Business Operations, “collaboration with science, compliance, and production” is at our core. “This triad is the backbone of any life sciences company. It allowed us to quickly react to supply chain shortages and emerge from 2022 stronger than ever,” says Dr. Clare.

Their advanced hemostatic devices, Chito+ (chitosan based), rely on the science of biomedical materials. These proprietary hemostatic products are USA manufactured at Tricol’s innovation labs, providing for immediacy of information and efficient, superior production.

Tricol maintains a diverse distribution strategy. Strong US manufacturing supply chain partners have helped them sustain product inventory throughout. During the past two years, Tricol has solidified partnerships and executed distribution agreements. As a result, the process from manufacturing to end user was streamlined.

When hospitals struggled with supply shortages, Tricol remained a reliable resource. The ultimate goal was achieved: Customer needs were efficiently met to best serve patients.

The healthcare community remains under tremendous stress. Tricol strategizes to lessen its impact. They’re proud to provide the right products, at the right time and place.

Tricol’s response to the war in the Ukraine is especially impressive. Their chitosan-impregnated hemostatic products originated to treat battlefield injuries. Despite supply chain interruptions, Tricol credits strong partnerships with their ability to continuously manufacture and deliver life-saving devices. They quickly doubled production to meet demands of this war-torn country.


To continue saving lives through their hemostatic solutions, Tricol remains committed to being a dependable force. Currently, they are addressing inflation challenges. From investing in new equipment to strengthening their team, they are managing costs without detriment to quality or supply.

Tricol continues to evolve. To combat extensive lead time required to obtain materials, they adjusted their purchasing and inventory tactics. Dr. Clare indicates, “Cost moderation and product availability require an ongoing balancing act. We work hard to keep that balance in favor of our customers.”

Their product lines, including CHITO+ and m.doc® devices (cellulose based, manufactured abroad), can be found in hospitals, outpatient settings, emergency clinics, and home first-aid kits. And, thanks to Tricol’s supply strategies, they are consistently, conveniently obtainable.

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Tricol’s Hemostatic Devices Have What It Takes, According to ECRI

ECRI, a well-known and trusted voice in healthcare, focused on quality, safety and cost, across the healthcare spectrum, analyzed hemostasis pads. They identified four key considerations to help choose the best. Tricol Biomedical offers two hemostatic devices for vascular closure; the HemCon® Patch Pro, and the HemCon® OneStopTM Vascular. Tricol Biomedical’s Chief Science Officer, Dr. Simon McCarthy, describes how the HemCon® OneStopTM Vascular Patch meets and even exceeds ECRI’s stringent considerations.

ECRI’s Key Considerations

  • Will the hemostatic agent be effective on a patient whose coagulation is compromised due to systemic anti-coagulation treatment?
  • Does the hemostasis device have a backing?
  • Can the width and length of the hemostasis pad meet the needs of the wound?
  • Can the pad be used for vascular access sites, percutaneous catheters, lacerations, and trauma?

The Tricol Standard Isn’t Typical

While many companies participate in the billion-dollar vascular closure market, Tricol Biomedical’s HemCon® product line stands apart. HemCon’s unique chitosan technology was leveraged by the U.S. Army in 2001 with the mission to control severe, traumatic bleeding on the battlefield. Soon thereafter, all US soldiers carried the original HemCon® Bandage in their individual first aid kits. This was advanced breakthrough technology, saving many lives. This same battlefield technology is also offered in acute care settings with HemCon’s OneStopTM Vascular and Patch Pro Devices.

It’s All in a Pad

The HemCon® OneStopTM Vascular meets the stringent requirements as outlined by ECRI, and more…

  • It is cleared for use to control bleeding in all patients, including those on anticoagulation therapy. Criteria #1 met.
  • OneStopTM Vascular has a backing with clear instructions indicating the active side of the patch as well as instructions not to remove. Criteria #2 met.
  • OneStopTM Vascular is 1.5in x 1.5in and is used in a wide range of wound sizes. Criteria #3 met.
  • OneStopTM is indicated for vascular procedure sites and sites involving percutaneous catheters, tubes and pins, and can be used to control bleeding from lacerations and/or trauma. Criteria #4 met.

Meeting ECRI’s criteria outlined above is great, but the HemCon® OneStopTM Vascular Patch provides 2 additional important features that go beyond the criteria set forth by ECRI.

  • Promotes Rapid Control of Bleeding
  • Provides a Barrier to Bacterial Penetration of the Dressing

Tricol also offers a radial balloon compression device with the OneStopTM Vascular patch incorporated into the design of the device. This device is called the OneStopTM ChitoPulse. This product offers the same features and benefits listed above.

Solid Science for Peace of Mind

Tricol’s secret is in the science. (Well, it’s also in “trade secrets,” but we can only share the science.) Unlike other players in the hemostasis field, Tricol’s products have earned support from a plethora of impressive studies on their efficacy.

A combination of well-funded preclinical and clinical data continuously reinforces the remarkable performance of these hemostatic devices. Supported by solid, proven data, clinicians confidently use them for lacerations, trauma wounds, vascular-procedure sites, and sites involving percutaneous catheters. Bleeding is controlled quickly and safely by the power of products strengthened by science and perfected by experts.

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Employee Spotlight: Dr. Simon McCarthy

Meet Dr. Simon McCarthy, Science and Technology Fellow at Tricol. This Q&A gives insight into why Simon joined the Tricol team and the important research he is doing in the field of Hemostasis.

Q: You are certainly a well-known, respected, and published scientist in the field of Hemostasis, no argument there. How did you first get involved in Hemostasis with HemCon?

A: I was hired by Oregon Medical Laser Center (OMLC), Providence Health System (PHS) in November 2000 in their U.S. Army-funded vascular replacement program as a senior scientist specializing in polymeric biomaterials. My main project was chain extension of recombinant human (rH), coacervated tropoelastin to human elastin for vascular replacement. As a side project, I assisted in developing a chitosan-based hemostatic dressing to control hemorrhagic bleeding on the battlefield. As it turned out, the tropoelastin project was stalled for various reasons, so I spent most of my time focused on the chitosan dressing and its testing. The changes I instituted in the chitosan dressing preparation resulted in a dramatic improvement in its overall performance. In quick succession, a new company (HemCon) was set up by Dr. Kenton Gregory & PHS, and I joined HemCon to oversee the development of this new technology.

Q: How has science progressed in your 20 years at HemCon and now Tricol, and how do you stay on top of it?

A: Science never sleeps–there is always some improvement or development occurring every second of every day. An interesting feature of chitosan science and technology is that the emergence of chitosan in medical device use occurred in the mid-1990s. This was driven by demand for an improved supply of pure and well-characterized chitosan from pharmaceutical and nutraceutical companies. It is essential to understand that chitosan is not one material; it is a generic name for thousands of different poly-N-acetyl-glucosamine materials whose properties depend on molecular size, amine functionality, and structure of the chitosan molecule. OMLC, HemCon, and now Tricol have kept pace with rapidly expanding medical use of chitosan materials in three ways:

  1. Early (2000 – 2003) realization of the importance of chitosan characterization & differentiation.
  2. Development & improvement of unique, proprietary HemCon chitosan materials.
  3. Cooperating with best in field scientific and medical institutions interested in exploring HemCon chitosan’s unique biomedical attributes.

Q: HemCon/Tricol has over 60 published pre-clinical and clinical studies. Why is that important in our field of Hemostasis? In other words, why have we done so many studies, and what are we trying to accomplish?

A: Good science applied to achieve significant solutions needs validation. We earn accepted and reliable validation by publishing the science and its outcomes in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals. Regulatory agencies, key opinion leaders, and customers take significant heed of these peer-reviewed publications. In the case of quality publications, it is generally considered the more, the better. Achieving quality publication can be extremely challenging. OMLC/HemCon/Tricol have performed very well over the last 20 years, with close to 3 significant publications per year.

Q: Any advice to young scientists that want to get involved in this industry?

A: Although you may not be paid the same rate as a lawyer or a doctor, there is less stress and plenty of professional satisfaction for the biomedical scientist seeking to make things better. You need to be disciplined and dedicated: the old adage of 99% perspiration for 1% inspiration applies to scientific endeavors. Be sharing and open with your findings. The best solution to any problem is determining the key questions to ask. Be inquisitive; be prepared to be surprised; and be humble as Mother Nature has much to teach. Science is a team endeavor, so do not be slow in asking for help, and be prepared to share any limelight that comes your way. Do not be deterred by failure, which is an essential part of the scientific process. Apply best scientific practice to be safe, effective & efficient. Be involved with local scientific organizations and be ready to volunteer to help others.

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Employee Spotlight: MacKayla Carolan

Meet MacKayla Carolan, Research Associate at Tricol. This Q&A gives insight into why MacKayla joined the Tricol team and her involvement with being part of innovative, lifesaving technology.

What is your background, and what led to you joining the Tricol team?

I got my degree in chemistry from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, in 2019, and started at Tricol shortly after graduation. One of my previous classmates worked here before me, and I took her position when she went to graduate school.

While my university thesis was about the biodegradation of estrogens in the Willamette River using HPLC-MS, I was familiar with chitosan because a professor at my university worked with chitosan for drug delivery purposes. Now, as a research associate here at Tricol, I work on developing new chitosan-based dressings to stop bleeding in various parts of the body, utilizing organic and analytical chemistry techniques.

While I was familiar with chitosan, I still had a lot to learn when I first came on board. It is incredible to think about how much I have learned and how much I have contributed to our projects along the way. I have also enjoyed learning about the medical device industry and being part of projects as they make their way to market.

We see you in lab coats as you move between Tricol’s two labs. What does a day in the life of MacKayla look like?

I should first say that I get to work with really smart, talented, and energetic people. Working alongside them on a daily basis and collaborating together is such a fun part of my day. We spend a lot of time together.

We have two labs here at Tricol. One is in our downtown Portland office, and the other is at the cleanroom facility we share with OHSU. We use the downtown lab for in-vitro testing of new prototypes and routine testing to make sure our products are up to standard, while the cleanroom facility serves as our wet lab. All the wet chemistry, synthesis, and lyophilization of our chitosan prototypes happen at our cleanroom facility.

My days vary depending on the projects we are focusing on at the moment. Some days we will be doing an organic synthesis, so I am in our cleanroom lab working on reagent addition, dialysis, lyophilization, or some other activity for the synthesis. Other days, we are testing the prototypes we just finished, so I will be in downtown Portland doing in-vitro testing or data analysis to determine whether a certain formulation meets our acceptance criteria.

I really enjoy the variety in my day-to-day activities. It is nice to have multiple projects to work on and other fun people to work with.

What are some of the projects you are currently working on?

We currently have two major projects in the works. I wish I could share all the details about what I’m working on, but a lot of what I do is proprietary and confidential, as we are continuously innovating and bringing new products to market. We are determined to develop devices that will address bleeding anywhere on or in the human body.

If one uses their natural curiosity about how, why, and when bleeding occurs, there are many applications of our technology that can save lives and be a game changer for clinicians in many disciplines.

Our goal in medical procedures is to shorten time to hemostasis, reduce blood loss and enable wound healing.

In general, my day is never boring. I have lots of freedom to experiment and innovate. There are always new and exciting ideas, and it is really fulfilling to see these projects come to fruition.

How does it make you feel knowing you are working on innovative, lifesaving technology?

It is a privilege to be part of such a talented team working on our technology, and it motivates me and the entire innovation team to make sure we are creating quality products. We have spent a lot of time on these devices, perfecting the formulation to make sure they surpass the current standard of care. We want to make sure our devices make it easier for doctors to do their jobs and possibly save someone’s life.

I am very early in my career, but I am proud to have a significant impact on projects that will result in a device that could save someone’s life one day.


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HemCon Chitosan Hemostatic Devices and the Body’s Clotting Cascade

In our final article of our first of many educational series, we are going to review the body’s natural clotting cascade and how HemCon’s hemostatic devices do not rely on this process to control bleeding.  We often talk about how our products work “outside of the clotting cascade” but what does that really mean? What is the clotting cascade and why does it matter that HemCon products work outside of it?  First, we must understand the clotting cascade. By quickly glancing at the diagram on this page, it will make perfect sense…. Well, perhaps an explanation is necessary. The human body is full of complex processes that are truly amazing, and the clotting cascade is certainly one of them.

Don’t worry about the above diagram. What you need to know is that when you cut yourself and you want the bleeding to stop, or when a physician performs surgery and needs to stop the bleeding post-procedure, there are many things within your bloodstream that need to happen for it to successfully form a clot. In fact, there are 13 “clotting factors,” and each factor has an “inactive” form that gets converted into an “active” form to enable clotting. This conversion is the clotting cascade.

Before we go further, let’s get some common definitions out of the way:

  1. Clotting Factors – any of several substances in blood plasma that are involved in the clotting process, such as calcium, prothrombin, Fibrogen, and tissue. Each clotting factor is assigned a number 1 through 13.
  2. Collagen – the main structural protein found in the skin and other connective tissues.
  3. Prothrombin – a protein in blood plasma that gets converted into thrombin.
  4. Thrombin – an enzyme in blood plasma which causes the clotting of blood by converting fibrinogen into fibrin.
  5. Fibrinogen – a soluble protein in blood plasma from which fibrin is produced thanks to the action of thrombin.
  6. Fibrin – an insoluble protein formed from fibrinogen during the clotting of blood. It forms a “fibrous” mesh that impedes the flow of blood… the clot!
  7. Platelets – small cells in the blood that help with forming blood clots.

When there is damage to a blood vessel (from an unanticipated cut, or surgical procedure), collagen is exposed to circulating platelets in the blood. These platelets bind directly to collagen and create a platelet plug. This is the first thing that happens, triggering the clotting cascade. We mentioned above that there are 13 factors that need to convert from inactive to active inside the clotting cascade.  These 13 factors are organized in what is referred to as pathways, the intrinsic pathway and the extrinsic pathway. The intrinsic pathway is activated when there is direct damage to the blood vessel.  The extrinsic pathway is activated by direct damage to the blood vessel as well, but also by many other things such as tissue damage outside of the blood vessel, hypoxia, sepsis, malignancy, and inflammation. Think of these paths as separate roads, each with different factors with conversion processes that ultimately come together at factor 10 to form one road, starting the common pathway.  And within the common pathway, the 2 most important factors are thrombin and fibrin.

Fibrin is factor number 1, the protein that forms a mesh, trapping platelets and ultimately creating the clot. But it cannot happen without thrombin, factor number 2, which plays a big role in activating many of the other factors, both within the intrinsic and extrinsic pathways (factors 5,7,8,11 and ultimately 13). Factor 13 is the last and final clotting factor number.  When you’ve reached factor 13, your blood has formed a clot!

By now you are an expert at understanding the body’s natural clotting cascade. Maybe not, it can be confusing even for those that are somewhat familiar with it. It is truly amazing that this process takes place every day in all of us when we cut ourselves or have a planned event. And now that you know about it, we can get back to the original question of how the HemCon hemostatic devices work “outside of the clotting cascade,” and why it matters.

If you cut yourself and use a store-bought bandage or piece of gauze, and apply gentle pressure to stop the bleeding, you will need the clotting cascade to kick into gear and allow the process to run its course, ultimately creating a clot (thrombin to fibrinogen to fibrin). Think about all the factors mentioned above! This process works fast in some people, and very slow in others. For patient’s on blood thinners (anti-coagulants) their pace of clotting is slowed by impacting certain factors limiting thrombin’s ability to exercise its power in creating a clot. There are also certain diseases like hemophilia or Von Willebrand disease that hinder the ability of the clotting cascade in affected individuals. The clotting cascade does not always cooperate as it does on paper and charts.  Getting the clotting cascade to work could take a very long time in some cases.

This is where “working outside the clotting cascade” comes into play for the HemCon hemostatic devices. Our positively charged chitosan devices simply attract the negatively charged platelets and blood cells to create a strong clot at the wound site, meaning, you do not have to worry about all those factors in the clotting cascade running their course. Of course, they will run their course behind the scenes, but HemCon devices do not rely on them at all. Other hemostatic devices made from other sources work by affecting the extrinsic pathway, speeding up the clotting cascade process, but still must rely on part of the clotting cascade being intact.

The HemCon hemostatic devices have been stopping bleeding since 2001 when first introduced by the U.S. Army to control traumatic bleeding. Being able to “work outside of the clotting cascade” played a large role in their decision to supply HemCon products to U.S. Soldiers.




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Chitosan’s Anti-Bacterial Properties

It has been over one year since the world was shut down in response to COVID-19. Since then, the general population has become more in tune with proper health and safety practices such as washing hands and wearing masks. Wearing a mask has become an important practice used to prevent respiratory droplets from reaching others. Face masks have found their place as a simple barrier to aid in the prevention of illness. Shouldn’t it be just as important that your injuries, whether through planned hospital procedures or unexpected events, are provided that same protection?  Many of HemCon’s bleeding control products provide an antibacterial barrier against 24 microorganisms.

As you learned in article 2 of this series Chitosan Performance in the Human Body, the HemCon bandage type dressings provide a technology that adheres tightly to blood and seals the injury site to stop bleeding. Equally important is that this adhesion process also provides an antibacterial barrier, blocking the ability of bacteria to penetrate the wound.



Proper application and removal of HemCon products play an important role here. When HemCon Chitosan dressings come in contact with blood, they essentially create an instant clot, adhering to the wound, creating a very tight seal that can’t be penetrated. The dressing can be left in place on the patient for up to 48 hours providing continuous protection! However, improper technique could jeopardize this important safety feature. Lifting up the dressing and peeking underneath to see if bleeding is controlled can break the strong seal and could compromise the dressing’s ability to provide the bacterial barrier. (Note: Not all HemCon dressings provide this barrier to bacteria. Check the product descriptions on our website for products that carry this claim.)

The antibacterial barrier of HemCon dressings was investigated using a standardized test method, Evaluation of Antibacterial Finishes, where the dressing was exposed to single strains of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Enterococcus faecalis (VRE), and Acinetobacter baumannii. HemCon bandages exhibited a >99% reduction in organisms 24 hours after being exposed to the dressing. The most common microorganisms causing surgical site infection are Staphylococcus aureus and enterococcus faecalis. (Read the full article here.)

The unique properties of chitosan, the correct delivery matrix for the wound type, and good clinical practice produce a powerful barrier against some of the most prevalent bacteria found in hospitals.



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Chitosan Performance in the Human Body

Tricol’s chitosan is derived from shrimp shells. Yes! We learned all about this metamorphosis in Article 1 in this series – Chitosan Unleashed!  As you can imagine, there are many complex propriety steps that happen between the extraction of chitosan from shrimp, and the point of using a finished product to control bleeding wounds in a caregiver’s hands. Our various products are stopping bleeding all around the world!  You can find them in hospitals, outpatient settings, long-term care facilities, schools, places of work, and homes. They are trusted by first- responders in our communities and on the battlefields we serve. Many users want to understand the technology behind our life-saving products. This stuff works, but how?

If we get into the science just a little, chitosan is positively charged. When it comes in contact with blood, it attracts negatively charged red blood cells and platelets that are drawn to the positive charge, creating a very tight seal. Think of a magnet. This ionic interaction produces an extremely strong, mucoadhesive (sticky) seal. This supportive seal at the wound surface works quickly to stop bleeding. Chitosan technology has been proven to work even on individuals suffering from abnormal blood clotting mechanisms, or those on blood thinners. Our chitosan technology works independently of the body’s clotting system (clotting cascade). Check back later for an article on bleeding and the clotting cascade!


There are many ways in which the human body bleeds.  It could be the result of a traumatic injury, or, as a by-product of a medical procedure or intervention. Whichever way, chitosan needs to be delivered to the source of bleeding via an appropriate support matrix. In other words, for different types of bleeding, Tricol chitosan products are delivered in different forms. Although the forms are different, they have in common the need to be strong, interconnected, and porous which allows them to adhere to blood-wetted surfaces and to resist high pressures from the vascular system.

Tricol products are broadly categorized into two general “family” types that we refer to as the “bandage family” and the “gauze family”. Although they are both derived from the same shrimp shells off the pristine coast of Iceland, they treat different types of wounds.

Our bandage family is essentially freeze-dried chitosan. It is very soft in its finished form. This is not the type of bandage you would find on the shelf of your local pharmacy or grocery store. It is the kind of bandage you would find in the kits of the U.S. Army’s Special Forces Green Beret unit or in the hands of the paramedic that arrives on the scene. In fact, your cardiologist, trauma surgeon, or local dentist may be using this same battlefield-tested product on you. It is extremely safe and effective in controlling severe bleeding in minutes. It’s great for cuts and lacerations. This product family used to be available only to professionals but is now available to the civilian population as well.

Our gauze family of products are flexible, chitosan-coated gauze dressings that come in a variety of different dimensions and lengths. Whereas our bandage family of products is used to quickly control surface level cuts and/or lacerations, our gauze family of products is typically used for deep penetrating wounds, or when the source of the bleeding is below the surface and not visible. These dressing are then “stuffed” into the wound to come in contact with the source of bleeding. These gauze dressings are now also available to the civilian population just like our bandage family.

Tricol’s specific products in both the bandage and gauze families are now being produced and provided for consumer and home use as well.

Check back here soon for the next article in our Chitosan Unleashed series where we will explore the anti-microbial properties of chitosan-based bleeding products.



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Chitosan Unleashed!

Chitosan is the active agent in Tricol Biomedical’s HemCon and OneStop hemostasis products and in order to understand how it works, you should first know about chitin. Chitin is the second most abundant naturally occurring biopolymer, after cellulose. In the natural world, chitin functions as scaffold material that gives structure and strength to insect exoskeletons and crustacean shells, and it is also found in mushrooms. It is often found in association with the mineral calcium carbonate. Our chitin is sourced from shrimp shells of the species Pandalus Borealis. The species naming is a reference to the Aurora Borealis found in the sky above the pristine waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. The shells that are received for processing at Primex  in the very north of Iceland are collected under carefully regulated quota systems that leave a sustainable balance to the marine environment. These quotas are based on scientific criteria for sustainable utilization of natural resources and the dedicated work of the Marine Research Institute.

Once the chitin is extracted from the shells, it undergoes a process called de-acetylation that molecularly transforms the chitin to chitosan. So now that we know where chitosan comes from, what exactly is it? Chitosan is a natural biopolymer that possesses a positive molecular charge and is the hemostatic component in HemCon bandages and coated gauzes. This positive molecular charge is the basis of chitosan’s medical uses. For bandage and gauze products like ours, the positive charge attracts negatively-charged blood cells like a magnet, rapidly creating a tight seal over an injury.

Often a first reaction to the use of chitosan in medical devices are concerns with shellfish allergies. Most allergic reactions to shellfish are caused by the protein part of the shellfish, not by the shells. Any residual proteins are eliminated during the conversion of chitin to chitosan. There have been no reported cases of an allergic reaction to our chitosan products in the 20 years we have made them. Keep an eye out for more detailed information to come on the use of chitosan by people with shellfish allergies!

Due to chitosan’s many attractive properties such as its natural origin, abundance, and positive charge reactivity, it has a multitude of real-world applications. You can find chitosan used in the medical field, agriculture, food processing, cosmetics, and water treatment. Chitosan is a prime example of how we can use technology to benefit from naturally occurring materials. And as a bonus, HemCon chitosan is made as a byproduct of the shrimp fishing industry, so our material sourcing helps prevent waste and minimizes our environmental footprint.

Now to answer the question on everyone’s mind: how do you pronounce chitosan? Is it ‘cheeto-san’ or maybe ‘chyto-san’? When you find yourself in a conversation about all the benefits of chitosan, you can confidently pronounce chitosan as ‘kai-tuh-san’.